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Kivexa or Truvada?
Jun 6, 2013

I been treated with Truvada and Stocrin for almost 5 years with exelent results in Argentina. Because economy situation in here are changing, my Social Secure health are trying to change my treatment schedule to Kivexa and Stocrin. They told me is exactly the same. I want to know if this is like they said or there is a diference. Please, can you help me? I am afraid of changing it. Sorry because ofmy english.

Response from Dr. Young

Saludos and thanks for posting from Argentina!

Kivexa (Epzicom) and Truvada are similar in many ways- both are combination pills of NRTI inhibitors, both are recommended in treatment guidelines as parts of 3 or 4 drug regimens.

There are some important differences- Truvada contains tenofovir and FTC- the former can be associated with kidney and bone toxicity; this is relevant if you have significant risks of kidney disease or osteoporosis. Kivexa contains abacavir and 3TC. Abacavir is associated with risk of a serious allergic reaction- one that can be eliminated by genetic screening using a test called HLAB5701. Some (but not all) studies suggest that there might be a slightly greater risk of viral failure in people with Kivexa.

Kivexa (Epzicom) tends to be considerably less expensive in many markets than Truvada, hence the motivation to switch patients. Moreover, in the US, abacavir and 3TC are both available as separate generic medications.

If you've been doing well with your adherence and have an undetectable viral load, there should be little risk in the switch- but no matter what, after any treatment switch, thoughtful monitoring of your adherence, side effects, toxicity and viral control should be done.

I hope that helps. BY

Virologic Failure?
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